Rae Dias

Rae Dias

MA student


Alison Murray


Evolution and ecology

I am a masters student working under the supervision of Dr. Alison Murray with a focus on the evolution and ecology theme. I received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia in 2018 with a major in anthropology and a minor in archaeology. One of my favourite pastimes during my undergraduate was volunteering at the UBC archaeology lab because it allowed me to handle artifacts, gain experience in a lab environment and meet other people who shared my interests and passions.

One of the highlights of my education and career was participating in the Drawsko Field School in Poland in the summer of 2017, where I took part in an ongoing archaeological excavation and analyse our findings in the lab. In my spare time, I love mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

My research focuses on how the ability to arboreally climb could have played an important role in human evolution. I’m specifically interested in how the gluteus maximus muscle, the hamstrings, and the skeletal parts of the pelvis changed in shape and size compared to non-human apes such as chimpanzees. I am conducting my thesis research using an applied engineering-based musculoskeletal modeling approach. I’m working to determine how the functions of these muscles and the pelvis vary according to whether their dimensions are matched to that of a modern human, a chimpanzee, or an early bipedal fossil human-like species.